According to fashion ‘standards’, I’ve been plus-sized all of my life. By plus size, I mean I’ve never been smaller than a size 8, and even at that size it was due to a health issue. As soon as I got better, I went back up to my normal size of a 12. At 5’10, I’ve always received comments like, “Well at least you’re tall”, “You’re not ‘that’ fat” and the most popular “You hide it well”. I’ve never thought of myself as hiding my size, and or even keeping track of it. I’ve never owned a scale, or a full body mirror. A few months ago when I met with my personal trainer for the first time, he hugged me when I told him that there were no scales in my house. He said he can’t count how many women are bound to a scale, and it tends to become obsessive.

I keep track of my weight by the clothes in my closet. Because I hate getting rid of items, and tend to not follow trends, I still have clothes ranging from size 8 to size 14. Whenever I’m feeling a little smaller, I’ll see how something in a smaller size fits, but there are those moments when it feels like I’ve just swallowed a whole rump roast, and have to move towards the larger sizes.

Fashions haven’t always been plus size friendly. I remember flipping through clothing magazines, and noticed the hideous options for women. If you wanted to leave the house looking like a floral arrangement, you had those options. Although nowadays, options have improved, there’s always room for more improvement.

I had a chance to speak with Marie Denee, of The Curvy Fashionista, to discuss her views on the fashion industry when it comes to fuller figured women. Denee is a plus sized fashion and stylist expert, with over 13 years of experience in several aspects of retail. She is the editor of Fashion and Style editor of Plus Model Mag and has made contributions to Curvy Vogue, Seventeen and Black Enterprise.

In your opinion..what brand or site caters best to plus sizes?
Right now I am torn! I think it is a toss-up between Nordstrom and ASOS. Nordstrom provides the higher end plus size contemporary options while ASOS Curve gives us the fast on trend options to play in!

What are some trends that are hot this fall & winter seasons?
I am loving leather! LEATHER! Finally, we have fashion forward options in leather aside from jackets! I am talking about shift dresses, leather leggings, leather blazers. That and printed pants. I Love a great pattern and with the designers paying close attention to fit in addition to fashion, this is one that will definitely have you feeling quite foxy!

What do you think is in store for the future of plus sizes?
I think the continual integration of plus sizes within mainstream brands. That and the arrival of new and playful plus size fashion designers. MORE OPTIONS in a nutshell! I think as we have more options, you will see more plus size women breaking all the “rules” bestowed upon us and embracing fashion and defining their personal style!

If you had to choose a reg size designer, who would you like to see make clothes for plus sizes?
Oooh I recently did a post about this. BUT, I would love to see BCBG, DVF, DKNY (not the DKNYC), for starters, those are brands that have such a strong name and presence that have quite a few items that would translate perfectly!

So Clutchettes, just because you’re a size 10 or larger, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. There are brands out there that cater to us curvy chicks, you just have to know where to look!

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